The Spring League and Fox Sports have officially made a deal to have some of their games televised starting at the end of this month. The games will take place during Wednesday and Thursday, starting the five week season on October 27. All teams and games will be located in San Antonio at the Alamodome. Here’s a post by Fox Sports making the official announcement down below:
FOX Sports adds @TheSpringLeague to its extensive football programming lineup 🏈
Tune in to the 2020 season opener on Tues, Oct. 27 on @FS1.
— FOX Sports PR (@FOXSportsPR) October 2, 2020
What is The Spring League? TSL was founded in 2016 by CEO Brian Woods. The goal of the league is to develop former collegiate or professional football players to help them get to the highest level of competition. The league held their first season in 2017 and have been implementing new ideas ever since .TSL has experienced a slow, but gradual growth. According to TSL analysts, they’ve officially expanded from two to six teams this year (Generals, Conquerors, Blues, Jousters, Alphas, Aviators). Furthermore, this makes the league more watchable and interesting for football fans to give it a shot. In addition, more players will be able to get a chance to play again, which leads into the next section:
Notable Players In the League
More teams lead to more opportunities for these former players and coaches to get experience and move on to a better league in the future. Popular names such as Johnny Manziel, Shawn Oakman and Jalen Saunders played in the TSL and went on to play for other leagues. It is important to know that TSL only pays for the guy’s meals and housing so this is definitely a temporary position. Without monetary gain, players will be hungrier than ever to play their best to earn a contract in a professional league again. There will be more talent on display this year so let’s take a look at who will be playing this season.
The NFL is the best of the best there is to offer in this sport. Many have made it here, but for some their tenure is short lived. Nowadays, an average player’s NFL career lasts only for 3.3 years. Factors such as being cut, injuries and retirements can play a big role in why the number is so low. However, a chance like this could be something that journeymen or practice squad players may need to secure a spot on a NFL team.
Guys such as Damon Sheehy Guiseppi and Zach Mettenberger are perfect examples of this. Guiseppi, a former Browns wide receiver, had a crazy ride to the NFL and almost made it onto the roster but was let go in the final cut days. Mettenberger, a former Titans quarterback was able to start some games for them, but ended up falling out of the league. He spent some time in the AAF, but he hasn’t played since then. Be on the lookout for these former NFL players as well:
Vikings TE Bucky Hodges: Generals
Titans QB Zach Mettenberger: Generals
Titans OL Jeremiah Poutasi: Jousters
Steelers DE Travis Feeney: Jousters
Browns WR Damon Sheehy Guiseppi: Alphas
Packers DB Raysean Pringle: Alphas
The XFL had a successful reboot at the start of this year. However due to the pandemic, owner Vince McMahon canceled games, then decided to shut down the league completely in April. A good amount of players were signed to NFL teams, but could not make it onto the final roster. Houston Roughnecks Linebacker DeMarquis Gates had made many highlight plays during his time in the XFL. The former Ole Miss Rebel did enough to get signed to the Vikings, but was cut as well.
On the other hand, most guys were back to square one after the league folded. Although the XFL will come back in the spring of 2022, that’s a two year wait that some cant afford to take. These players will have to get reps anywhere they can in the meantime. Nevertheless, here are some notable XFL players that have recently signed with TSL:
Roughnecks LB Ty Schwab: Aviators
Vipers TE Nick Trusdell: Aviators
Vipers S Marcelis Branch: Alphas
Roughnecks LB DeMarquis Gates: Blues
Roughnecks WR Nick Holley: Conquerors
Vipers QB Quinton Flowers: Jousters
College football players from all divisions are met with sad reality that they won’t make it to the NFL. Only about two percent of players make it to the league, which is a pretty abysmal statistic. On the other hand, getting a spot at TSL could help some of these college football players continue their career.
A decent amount of college athletes will be playing for The Spring League this season. Former big name quarterbacks such as J.T Barrett and Shea Patterson have signed and will make an appearance. It’ll be good to see these guys play and hopefully go at it again down the road. Here’s a couple more names of college players you might recognize:
Syracuse WR Ervin Phillips: Jousters
LSU OL K.J Moore: Aviators
Ohio State QB J.T Barrett: Alphas
Michigan QB Shea Patterson: Blues
Oklahoma DE Kenneth Mann: Conquerors
NC State LB Dexter Wright: Generals
The Future is Bright
The Spring League seems to be on the right track going into the future. Compared to other startup leagues such as the AAF and the XFL, their popularity is not on the same level. However, this league is going into its third year while their counterparts couldn’t even get through their first season. TSL started off small and set the bar low which has worked in their favor so far.
Now that they’ve expanded, the league is now in a position to grow. They call themselves a developmental league which could lead to an opportunity with the NFL in the future. The NFL’s last experiment with a developmental league ended in 2007 with NFL Europe. Depending on how this season goes, there’s a possibility that they could end up working together down the road. If this occurs, The Spring League could be here for many years to come.